Here you'll find current musings, as well as the archives from two blogs of yesteryear: YoungMarriedMom and What I Learned While Writing a Novel. Please comment and share. We love well when we are in conversation with one another.
Sorry, Rocky Horror Picture Show fans. There will be no costumes, late-night theater events, or yelling at a fictional woman named Janet in this post. Just your run-of-the-mill contemporary perspective on child-rearing in New York City . . .
They say time flies, especially in the first year of a baby’s life. I’m sure years from now, that will seem to be the case. But now, when I spend almost all of my time with my little dude, ten minutes can sometimes feel like an hour, and some days feel like two days!
Over the past few weeks, I’ve made some changes that have given me a sense of perspective, and oddly enough, the answer has been in watching the clock.
Lately, my watch has been my new best friend. After reading a book on napping, which discussed some of what sleep researchers have learned about why babies need sleep, when they need sleep, and how to make sure your baby gets that sleep, I began to pay much closer attention to Jacob’s napping.
I took a step back from our days and saw that I could decipher a general pattern. The fussiness only came about when something broke that pattern. Now I keep an eye on how long each nap lasts and how long it’s been since his last nap. It’s helping me to have a better idea of what he needs when he gets cranky. It’s comforting to have some concrete way of attempting to read his signs—especially when I’m tired and cranky, too!
When he is cranky and I can’t seem to get him to go to sleep, I’ve only recently found the grace to be able to recognize that at some point, he will sleep. I try to take the opportunity to grow in patience, especially because what can feel like ages with a crying baby is usually just a few minutes.
I’ve started to look at my watch when I put him down, too, and it’s helping me to gain some perspective in the more trying moments of the day. It’s easy to lose track of reality when you’re tired and trying to care for a sleepy, fussy baby. I’m surprised but happy to find that simply making sure to put on my watch in the morning can make a huge difference in my day.
All of this is to say that parenting is like a colossal time warp. A day feels like a month, but then the weeks speed by like a bullet. Sometimes it can seem like Jacob was just born yesterday.
But then I go to pick him up, and I think, wait a minute; he can’t have doubled his weight overnight! Ah, the joys of a giant, giant baby.
how many naps does he take a day? I just had to change Zoe’s nap schedule like a month ago…it took 3 weeks of “cry it out” before she accepted that she had to take scheduled naps. I always look at the clock too…at 10 minutes I go in to comfort her (not pick her up though). It’s seriously sometimes the LONGEST 10 minutes of my life! I completely understand what you mean about a time warp though…in all aspects of babyhood =)
He takes about three naps a day. I think he’s transitioning into some sort of new phase now. He used to be able to put himself to sleep for naps and even at night often enough, but now he’s waking up after just forty minutes in either case. Eek! We’re investigating some new options. I think what we really need is a consistent schedule. Any advice on that front would be greatly appreciated!